NaBloPoMo Day Two: Post-Mortem Photography, Baseball, Calzones and Nik Wallenda

The title of this post sounds like a question on one of those psychology tests to determine which mental illness you’re likely to develop.

Circle the item in each series which causes you the most emotional discomfort. 

1) post-mortem photography, baseball, calzones, Nik Wallenda,

2) high voltage electrocution, golden retriever puppies, dryer lint, Tammy Faye Bakker

3) the Continental Divide, head lice, Rotel tomatoes, Hello Kitty

4) third-word disembowelment procedures, Pop Tarts, choking on someone else’s vomit, Dean Martin

5) IOS 8, necrophilia, Winston Churchill, conversation hearts

Or maybe it’s more like a game of Apples-to-Apples if I were the one making up the cards.

Anyway, I was trying to come up with a title that would accurately and succinctly summarize my day. And that was it.

This morning I read an article someone posted on Facebook about post-mortem photography. It was a popular thing back in the Victorian era. In many of the photos, the subject was meant to look alive…with their eyes open, surrounded by family members who actually were alive.

What the crap?

My first reaction was to wonder if Victorian era people were such terrible procrastinators that they put off having portraits made until their subjects were dead and they couldn’t postpone it any longer. I know photography wasn’t as simple and easy back then. But surely it wasn’t that dreaded.

“Well, Children, I guess we should have a family portrait done today. Your mother is starting to attract flies.”

Victorian_era_post-mortem_family_portrait_of_parents_with_their_deceased_daughter

Here’s an example. Yeah, I know.

That article stuck in the back of my mind for the rest of the day. I sort of wished that I could unread it. Here’s the link. Go ahead. Read it and enjoy the photos right before bed.

Both Andrew and Jack had their final baseball tournaments of the fall season today. I was with Jack. James went with Andrew. It was freezing. And windy. And cold. And frigid. Through three long games, I sat in my cheap, canvas chair, bundled up in 48 layers of coats and blankets and scarves and hats, looking like an Afghan refugee wearing everything I owned.

They won.

10629702_10204750400267125_4802757541837641958_n

Jack is the one holding the plaque.

Then we went home and ate some calzones I found in the refrigerator. They were delicious. But it was pretty disconcerting when I told James that we’d eaten his leftovers from yesterday and he responded “what leftovers?”

ME: “The ones in the Vinny’s Pizza box in the fridge.”

JAMES: “I don’t know what leftovers you’re talking about and where’s Vinny’s Pizza?”

How likely is it that a stranger broke into our house and, rather than stealing our belongings, they stored their leftovers in our fridge? What if they’re planning to come back and get them for lunch tomorrow and we ate them? How inconsiderate of us!

Or what if burglars broke into our house, looked around and thought our stuff was so worthless that they felt sorry for us and decided to leave us some food?

Is that the kind of thing you file a police report about?

While Jack and I waited for James and Andrew to come home, we watched the over-the-top media event of Nik Wallenda walking across a high wire between two skyscrapers in Chicago. It was about 15 seconds of walking and eight years of announcers explaining what the wire was made of and interviewing his family and cameo appearances by Joel Osteen…ya know, to give the whole thing some much-needed class (ahem). The news reporter said that they’d feature selected tweets during the live broadcast. So I tweeted my heart out, hoping they’d feature one of mine. No luck.

So, I’ll feature them here.

@sanitywaiting “I sure hope they go over what the wire is made of a few more times.”
@sanitywaiting “Should we watch The Walking Dead or The Walking Idiot?”
@sanitywaiting “And now we go live to an interview with Nik’s third cousin by marriage.”
@sanitywaiting I’d like to push Joel Osteen out onto the wire.
@sanitywaiting “But first, let’s find out a little about what that steel cable is made of.”
@sanitywaiting My, Wallenda sure is good with a pole.
@sanitywaiting I hope Wallenda hasn’t been drinking.

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23 Responses to NaBloPoMo Day Two: Post-Mortem Photography, Baseball, Calzones and Nik Wallenda

  1. nfhill says:

    I want to know what you eventually find out about the mystery calzones. You don’t think someone tried to poison you, do you, you know so they could do some weird photography?

    Like

  2. angelaweight says:

    Lol, Nancy!! I really am laughing out loud. It was a conspiracy. And i fell for it. I hope i look alive in the pics.

    Like

  3. I have a funeral director on my FB page who posted the post-mort pics. Yes, that was very eerie, but also a bit heartbreaking to see people clinging to their loved ones a little bit longer. I wanted to reach in and hug the surviving loved ones. Hugs to all bereaved people.

    Like

  4. angelaweight says:

    What a sweet way to look at it. The survivors did look so heartbroken and frail as if they were clinging to all that was left of their loved one.

    Like

  5. texdona says:

    post mortem photographs….wow. I have learned something new today

    Like

  6. I remember reading about post mortem photography and the photos are very poignant. By the way, your comments section is pushed way to the left, some formatting error you might want to fix.

    Like

  7. angelaweight says:

    Oh, ok. Thanks, Carol.

    Like

  8. Cathy says:

    You are so funny so thanks for my morning laugh. But I could have done without the post-mortem bit. Maybe it’s just me, but EWWWWWWW. I can’t even imagine that. And now that I’ve written that it’s going to stick in my mind all day AGH!!!

    Like

  9. angelaweight says:

    Lol, Cathy. Thanks and youre welcome for the imagery.

    Like

  10. Ellen Dolgen says:

    FIrst time I have ever heard of post-mortem photography….def a different twist on family memories………….Yikes!

    Like

  11. elinwaldal says:

    Not familiar with post-mortem photography either. I agree with one of the other commenters here, makes you feel as if people were hanging on to their loved one, I get that…but would prefer the picture I carry of them in life.

    Like

  12. Roz Warren says:

    I grew up in Detroit, where several members of the Wallenda family famously fell to their deaths. These people are NUTS. That being said, i LOVED your little multiple choice test. Great stuff!

    Like

  13. kimtb says:

    So if you’re a fan of Apples to Apples, have you tried Cards Against Humanity? Certainly not PG….or PC…but always good for a laugh. Congrats on surviving baseball season. We did softball and horse shows in our family and while I have been spied at my neighbor’s Little League games, I am happy to have those days behind me (sort of).

    Like

  14. angelaweight says:

    I will definitwly be checking out Cards Against Humanity. I love anything non PC.

    Like

  15. Jennifer C. says:

    I remember when I first had heard about post-mortem photography. I understand the whole “wanting a keepsake” thing, but some of those photos were straight up CREEPY. I’m not sure how they hung those photos in their homes…

    Like

  16. Yeah, this is definitely not for me. I didn’t look at the link you posted because my husband is away and I didn’t want to be scared. Is that bad? haha

    Like

  17. Christine says:

    We found some pictures of dead people at my grandma’s house when she passed away. SUUUUPER creepy!

    Like

  18. loisaltermark says:

    OMG I will not be looking at postmortem pictures, for sure!

    Like

  19. CaptCruncher says:

    I almost choked on my tea when I read the calzone story. That is seriously funny…and a bit creepy! Thank you for another hysterical piece!

    Like

  20. okay. That crossing the Grand Canyon scarred me for life. I refused to watch this latest attempt — or mention it to my husband who would have had to watch. It’s just not right. I’ve heard his next thing is coming to Tocca Falls to duplicate what his grandfather? did. Except he’s going to do two headstands while crossing. oy.

    Like

  21. janieemaus says:

    Post mortem photography! Now I’ve heard everything. That is just plain weird.

    Like

  22. Seems like we always have missing food at our house too. The thought of being a post mortem photographer is just weird though!

    Like

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